Across NSW many beef producers will have already secured supplies of supplementary feeds for the remainder of winter and spring as per usual management.
However, as conditions continue to remain dryer than normal, and with August and September still ahead, it is likely that there will be even more demand be placed on the available supplementary feed options that remain.
Nathan Jennings, Senior Land Services Officer with North Coast Local Land Services said, “We are urging beef producers on the North Coast to take the time and assess their available feed, stock condition and – if you are likely to require a supplementary feed source in the coming months – to make a few calls to your supplier now, to determine availability and price.
“Drought conditions across most of NSW have placed an unprecedented demand on many of the common supplementary feeds we rely upon in our region and the North Coast has also been supplying significant volumes of hay to western areas as well.
Nathan continued, “While our region isn’t experiencing conditions anywhere near as bad as the western areas, should it remain dry through the coming months there will be some producers that will find they will be seeking supplementary feed.”
For those producers that may not have been following the stock feed market very closely as yet North Coast Local Land Services has compiled a list of what is commonly used to supplement cattle through the next few months in our region, with a current trading price range and most importantly for some, availability.
This list is intended as a guide, so be sure to contact your preferred feed supplier to determine actual price and availability relative to your circumstances.
|Cotton Seed Meal||Very Limited, to Not Available||$650-700/tonne||Demand is presently greater than supply. Majority of what is available is being consumed by those with large contracts across NSW/QLD.|
|Whole White Cotton Seed||Limited||$455-500/tonne||Really restricted to producers who can handle a bulk load.|
|Canola Meal||Limited||$540-600/tonne||Supply is rapidly declining. If it continues dry it may well become not available.|
|Molasses||Good at present||$225/tonne||Pricing is guide for bulk loads, which is 12T to 25T. Smaller quantities may be available but check pricing. Northern Tablelands and slightly west likely to consider trucking it out there, freight dependant.|
|Liquid supplements (Molasses + Protein)||OK at present||$0.60 – 0.80/Litre||Various trade names with different mixtures, contact supplier for exact pricing and freight costs|
|Becoming Limited||$800-1,200/tonne||The limited availability of protein meals is impacting supply. There are numerous products it really depends on the manufacturer as to the availability. It is likely some will change mixtures to attempt to maintain supply|
|Intermittent to ok at present||$120-140/100kg block||Again supply of protein meals is impacting manufacture and supply of most lick blocks.
Smaller blocks more expensive per kg.
|Feed Lot meal/pellets||Good at Present||$540-580/tonne||Price is Bulk load. Higher in smaller quantities. Various rations around. Contact supplier. Potential they could get more expensive if widespread drought continues|
|Whole Barley||Ok – likely to decline||$410-450/tonne||Price includes freight in Bulk load to Lismore/Casino. Freight distance will impact price. Maybe some very limited supplies left locally.|
|Sorghum||OK||$370-400/tonne||Price includes freight in Bulk load to Lismore/Casino. Freight distance will impact price.|
|Maize||Variable||$425-435/tonne||Price includes freight in Bulk load to Lismore/Casino. Freight distance will impact price. Maybe some very limited supplies left locally.|
|Oaten Hay||Ok likely will decline||$420/t||Freight distance is the killer. West likely to take as much hay as they can source, so unless local supplies come into market (which are very limited and depend on seasonal conditions) may become harder to find.|
|Rhodes Grass||Ok at present||$80-95/ 4x4bale||Quality is the big variable factor. Western areas likely to keep taking as much as we can sell, so supply could rapidly decrease.|
Livestock producers are also being encouraged to consider what equipment they have on farm, as usual supplementary feed options may not be available or could be too expensive this year. Whilst it may seem simple to swap to another supplement, consider:
- Can I handle it,
- How much time or labour is required,
- What other equipment will I need to feed it,
- How much wastage could I get if I’m not setup correctly?